Start You Winter Prep Before The Big Freeze

Prep in time for winter
Prep in time for winter

Friday, 04, Oct 2019 03:29

By William Coleman

It is almost that time of year again where we shed a tear as start to empty the caravan in preparation for it's winter hibernation. Our checklist is ready and our cleaning bucket is full as we went the winter period once more and prepare the vans for winter storage.

If you're anything like me then you really do despise doing the winter storage clean out of the caravan. One, because it means you won't be using the van until it warms up again and two, because who wants to add extras cleaning to the schedule.

To help take the pain away from your winter prep follows these tips and then make a cuppa and be glad we did the planning for you.

Preventing Damp

With the rapid change in temperature from warm to cold condensation will soon start to form anywhere it can. Once the condensation drips down the interior windows and dries you will start to see and smell the effects of mould.

Something that has an awful lingering smell and will simply spread if not dealt with swiftly is mildew and mold caused by damp so you are going to want to prevent that at all costs.

Some heating with fresh dry air in and out is one way of dealing with it. Or an easier, but more costly way, is to use a dehumidifier. But to be cost effective means a lot more attention or a regular basis.

On this one I would strongly recommend spending out on the dehumidifier. It may cost more initially but in the long run you will save a lot of time and money.

Interior Preparation

Always remove as many unnecessary items as possible. Clothes, bedding, cushions or anything that might absorb moisture, aids the damp issue too.

Leave all the doors and cupboards open to keep them aired as you do not want a musky odor. This is good practice which will aid you in removing anything that does not need to be stored during winter.

A full clean will also help out a lot, nothing worse than finding old food come spring. Ensure that nothing that that can deteriorate over the winter is left inside. A full clean should include surfaces, floor vacuumed, cold storage empties/cleaned and removal of anything that will lead to damp or rot. Also ensure that you dry any wet areas thoroughly before finally locking up, paying special attention to the shower and general bathroom area.

Exterior Preparation

The weather is the enemy number one when storing your motorhome or caravan over the winter. Despite the typical grey winters we have in the UK we can get extended periods of sun, without the heat.

Although the heat may not be there the UV rays are still doing their job. Sun rays can fade the colour of any vehicle, especially when left idea for several months. So a good cover or even a basic tarp will provide sufficient cover. Just take it off now and then and air the van inside and out and maybe give the outside a once over with a cloth and spray.

When you are detailing the outside give all the locks a good clean and a spray with WD40 or a suitable lubricant oil to prevent them from rusting, seizing up or getting anything stuck in them.

I would recommend giving the caravan or motorhome a good clean with a wax to finish. This will give the home an extra layer of protection from the elements.

When cleaning the exterior check for any cracks or dents that may have occurred without your knowledge. If you do not spot a crack then you run a huge risk of leaks. And the best advice and the most simplest is to invest in a good cover. Keep the home nice and tucked up for winter.

Engine Care/Batteries

A battery can die a death if left unattended for an extended amount of time. So a regular engine turn of a motorhome or camper should do a world of good and ensure that the battery doesn't seize up on you.

Plugging the home into store power once a month, for around 8-10 hours, will help keep coach batteries in good shape. If you are not planning to use the home after winter I would advise you to simply remove the battery.

You can charge it at home and if the temperature plummets you will not have a frozen battery. A discharged battery will freeze a lot quicker than a full battery.

These are just a select few of the checks that you can do. Most people have their own routine that they like to stick to but it is always good to check the basics listed above.

Once winter is over and you want to start using the leisure vehicle, provided you're not a winter motorhomer, it is always advisable to get a service done to check everything is in full working order.

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